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 I never thought I'd feel sorry for Hazel Blears - and, believe me, I don't. Left up to me, she would be facing a jury at the Old Bailey, along with all the other crooks at Westminster (might get some nice work out of it too....). But she must be wondering what she has done that is so much more heinous than many of her Cabinet colleagues.
Blears was caught lying to the Revenue about her main home to avoid paying capital gains tax on a flat which effectively belonged to the taxpayer - given that the taxpayer paid the mortgage and bought the furniture.
She's now been shamed into repaying the outstanding amount and looks certain to be sacked. Gordon Brown says her behaviour was 'totally unacceptable'.

We'd all agree with that. But Brown is standing by other ministers guilty of disgraceful cheating over expenses.
Why Blears and not James Purnell and Geoff Hoon, who have both also avoided paying capital gains tax on properties bought with the help of public money? Why not Jackboot Jacqui? She lied about her main home, giving different addresses for tax and expenses purposes.

Or Tony McNulty for pretending that his second home was his parents' house?
Does Gordon really believe that Chancellor Alistair Darling flipping his address four times and charging the taxpayer £20,000 in stamp duty was totally acceptable? And as I keep pointing out, despite living in the same grace-and-favour flat for 12 years, Gordon has flipped his own second address and claimed tens of thousands of pounds in public money for running and renovating two different homes. He shouldn't be claiming anything. Isn't that 'totally unacceptable'? Is he going to pay anything back?

The Tories are just as bad, fiddling faster than Nigel Kennedy. MPs of all parties are guilty of fraud, deception and wholesale theft to a greater or lesser degree. The police should be all over this. There must be criminal prosecutions.

Yet after shooting Gorbals Mick, MPs think they're off the hook, even though it changes nothing.
PMQs on Wednesday was a disgrace, with Brown falling back on playground taunts of 'Tory toffs' and 'Tory cuts', as if the past three weeks hadn't happened.

Not so long ago, in relation to something long forgotten, Harriet Harman was telling us that what really mattered was not a court of law, but the 'court of public opinion'. Now she and other ministers keep telling us that 'what the people want' is for them to get on with the job, without bothering to consult us. If I hear 'what the people really want' again, I'm reaching for the AK47. The people want blood, they want bodies.

This corrupt bunch of co-conspirators have no interest other than hanging on to their own pay, perks and power for as long as possible. Although there have been 'suspensions' and 'resignations', no one has actually resigned as an MP or been kicked out of the Commons. They're all still drawing wages. Even Gorbals will sail off into the sunset with a fat pay-off, pension and seat in the Lords for life. At least 'Call Me Dave' knows the reforms of expenses are nowhere near enough to quell public anger. Only an election will do that.

Parliament must be dissolved and a General Election called for September. That would give every party time to cleanse the stables, deselect the crooks and pick new candidates if one still accepts it is the best system.
For my view its best as I said last week that Members of Parliament are picked like members of a jury. If its good enough to adjudicate and administer the fate of the fellow citizen then what is wrong with dealing with the fate of ALL the citizens. This way you dont need political parties and you dont have costly elections.

This rotten Parliament is over. The revelations will keep on coming. MPs who have abused the system can't be trusted with overhauling it.

The people must pass judgment.

Giovanni Di Stefano


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